Is Your Brand Cheap & Easy?

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by: Alain Thys

Or are you the sophisticated and seductive type? As a follow-up to my earlier comparison between human love and the occasional affection we display for brands, I sometimes wonder whether some brand managers are still stuck in a bad 70s macho interpretation of Don Juan.

I’m sure you remember the type. Curly hair on head and chest. A purple shirt with so little buttons closed that you wonder whether it has any at all. Dark – oversized – sunglasses that are only used at night. And to really blind you a few pounds of golden chains doubling as early warning signal for the fact that "Mr. Cool has arrived".

Of course, I exaggerate. Still, walking through the supermarket aisles, surfing the web or zapping channels in a New York of Hong Kong hotel room, a lot of what I still hear is "look at me, I’m bigger", "I’m cheaper", "I’m easier to use", "I’m this", "I’m that" … 


Brands flaunting their features and benefits, and continuously emphasizing how they are easier to "get" than the one that came by 30 seconds before.


Now, in the right mood, I’ll be the last to knock the concept of a cheap & easy thrill. But I do wonder if those thrills are the ones that relationships are made of? The difference between lust and seduction is that the former concentrates purely on the body, while the latter deeply penetrates the mind.


Just think about it. Would you stay interested for long in a partner who bared it all at the first encounter and left very little to discover over time. Or would you be more intrigued by a man or woman, who slowly seeped into your mind, continuously surprising, occasionally startling?


It’s the same with brands and products. The propositions we make and the ways we communicate about them should "lure" consumers into a slow and seductive spell, rather than provide all throw all features, benefits and cheapness out in the open.


So as food for thought I throw you a little challenge. When you look at your  communication efforts, do you "bare it all" at the first contact, or do you leave something to be discovered as customers start engaging with your brand? Have you built in follow-up surprises which rekindle interest and pique curiosity? And if you don’t today, are there ways you could start changing this?


After all, the proverb "if you’ve got it, flaunt it" only works while your young and your abs are still firm. After that, it’s the depth that matters.


For a great reading tip on the topic check out The History of My Life by Giacomo Casanova. If you gotta learn, go straight to the master himself.